FEBRUARY 17, 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Published by:

FEBRUARY 17, 2019

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

  “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! …Your reward will be great in heaven.”


 Congratulations and God Bless 

the Newly Confirmed Members of Our Parish Family


Joseph Daniel Cienciwa

Son of Michael & Allison Cienciwa


Olivia Helen Gergen

Daughter of Bradley & Jaime Gergen


Alexis Ann Gramley

Daughter of Todd & Bernadette Gramley


Adam Michael Malecha

Son of Steven & Heather Malecha

These students received the Sacrament of Confirmation

from Archbishop Bernard Hebda

on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Cathedral of St. Paul

5 Things Women Need to Know About Men

This month’s Lighthouse CD is 5 Things Women Need to Know about Men by Dr. Allen Hunt.

While in the Valentine’s Day mood, I wanted to offer a CD for couples this month.

What in the world is your husband thinking?  What really makes him tick?  In this talk, Dr. Allen Hunt shares the five things women most need to know about men.  Simple, helpful, and inspiring wisdom to enrich your marriage and relationships.

Dr. Allen Hunt is a nationally known speaker and bestselling author.  He leads a powerful marriage seminar titled: Passion and Purpose for Marriage, and this talk is part of that conference.

If it would be easier for you to listen to this (or any other Lighthouse CD talk) as an MP3, rather than on CD, please talk to me.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke



























You are in my daily prayers.

May God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke




Please see the Bulletin insert from the LNMV CEC this weekend!

Feb 16-17  CSA Video/flyer


Baptism Congratulations


to Jacob & Jennifer (Mike) Rhein

on the Baptism of their daughter, Nora Rose

on Sunday, February 17, 2019


Love is patient, love is kind.

 It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,

 it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,

 it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing

but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.


Prayer for Married Couples

Almighty and eternal God,

You blessed the union of husband and wife
So that we might reflect the union of Christ with his Church:
look with kindness on us. Renew our marriage covenant.
Increase your love in us, and strengthen our bond of peace
so that we may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Grant me, O Lord my God,
A mind to know you, A heart to seek you,
Wisdom to find you, Conduct pleasing to you,
Faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
And a hope of finally embracing you.



“Eternal Father,

I offer you the most precious blood of the Divine Son, Jesus,

in union with the Masses said throughout the world today,

for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere,

for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my home

and in my family. Amen”

-St. Gertrude the Great

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial;

we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up

and enrich others by our own poverty.” –Pope Francis



Please note that our IC-CCW will be receiving funds from the CARDBOARD RECYCLING at Mackenthun’s during the months of February and March!


SAVE THE DATE – Totus Tuus is coming to our 3 parishes

the week of June 23 through 29

– More information will follow…

TOTUS TUUS is a fun and energetic parish based summer catechetical program, for both grade school age children & junior & senior high school youth.


Teaching Parish Seminarian

Mitchell McLaughlin

December 8-9

January – NONE

February 16-17

April 14-15 also Triduum

May 11-12





FAST AND ABSTINENCE is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. These are days of fast, and abstinence from meat. Fasting is having only one full meal, with the option of also having two smaller meals that do not equal a full meal, for all Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59, inclusive.


All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat for all who have reached their 14th birthday.


We are once again participating in the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) program “Operation Rice Bowl”. The www.CRSRiceBowl.org website is full of stories and tips! During Lent, we are asked to occasionally eat the sort of meal people in poor countries have, and place the money saved in the rice bowl (available in the back of church). You may also use the envelope included in your giving packet. At the end of Lent, this money will be sent to CRS for its work in helping the poor in mission lands.


This Lent, join the Walk with Jesus Lenten Challenge. The walk is a twice-weekly

reflection program (beginning March 5th) that places a special emphasis on the

Way of the Cross. It is designed to help people focus on their spirituality so they

can grow in faith during these 40 days of Lent.

Join the challenge by visiting www.4lpi.com/LentReflections today.



~~Franciscan Retreats & Spirituality Center-Prior Lake~~

To register or for more info: www.franciscanretreats.net or 952-447-2182.

~~Christ the King Retreat Center~~

621 First Ave. South, Buffalo, MN (763) 682-1394 –www.kingshouse.com

~~Relevant Radio 1330AM~~                     

Program your dial to Catholic radio-Listen online at www.relevantradio.com

~~Retrouvaille ~~

Call (651) 464-5855, or visit www.helpourmarriage.com, or www.tcr-mn.org

~~Faribault Area Hospice ~~

Groups meet at District One Hospital lower level. Call 507-332-4837 for info

~~Area Regional Bereavement Support Group~~

St. Wenceslaus Church, 215 East Main St, in New Prague.

For more information call Deacon Bob Wagner at 952-758-0463.

~ Parkinson’s Support Group ~

4th Tuesday of every month from 1:00-2:30 PM at the New Prague Public Library.

For more information contact Betty Tupy 952-758-3924.



Dave & Mary McFadden 744-5341




Pope Francis’ 2019 Monthly Intentions


Evangelization – Christian

FEBRUARY 10, 2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Published by:

FEBRUARY 10, 2019

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching men.”

              Annual Retreat

I am away from the parish this weekend on my annual spiritual retreat.  Did you know that all priests are expected to take an annual retreat?  In fact, Canon Law says that priests are “bound to make time for spiritual retreats” (CIC 276 §2).

I have had the opportunity to go on many retreats throughout my life.  The very first one I can remember was when I was in middle school I went on a youth retreat.  I wasn’t necessarily interested in a retreat at that point in my life, but part of the deal was that one of the days of the retreat we got to go downhill skiing, so that convinced me to attend.

When I started high school, I learned about NET Ministries, and the wonderful retreats they put on for teens.  (NET retreats are a very similar style and format as the Quest Retreat we put on here at IC for our Confirmation candidates each year.)  My older brother had attended a NET retreat and came back with his faith set on fire.  I admired that, and wanted to experience it too.  And so, as a freshman in high school, I attended my first NET retreat.  That weekend ignited my faith in a powerful way and helped me start running toward the Lord with even greater speed than I had previously.  I encountered Jesus in a new and powerful way, especially in adoration, and met many people who became my friends through high school.  I began to love going on retreats and looked forward to the next one.

During my time in seminary, I was exposed to new retreat formats that I had not previously known: silent retreats and preached spiritual retreats.  A silent retreat is, as its name indicates, a retreat where there is usually no talking among the retreatants.  This silence allows us to concentrate especially on the voice of the Lord speaking in the quiet of our hearts.  A preached spiritual retreat is one where the retreat leader gives several daily reflections on Christ from the Gospels, and invites everyone to meditate on these stories during the day.

Although there are several different formats and styles of retreats, they all have the same goals: 1) to help us to step away from our busy lives, 2) to listen to the voice of Jesus speaking to our hearts, 3) to allow God to draw us closer to him through ongoing conversion and turning from sin, and 4) to help us make changes to our lives so that we can love God more and live for him better in our daily lives.

My hope is that eventually we will be able to offer retreats for our parish.  Parishes that have begun offering retreats for their parishioners often see a great spiritual revival in the community, and this makes sense if the goals listed above are achieved in the lives of many parishioners.

Until we are able to begin parish-wide retreats, if you would like to go on a retreat, here are some good places to look.  Please search for their websites, or feel free to ask me for more information on any of these.

  • Demontreville – Lake Elmo, MN
  • Christ the King Retreat Center – Buffalo, MN
  • Franciscan Retreats – Prior Lake, MN
  • Pacem in Terris – St. Francis, MN
  • World Wide Marriage Encounter

Finally, here are some additional suggestions:

  • Attend a retreat that has daily Mass, and opportunity for confession
  • Go with a friend (but don’t talk too much)
  • Don’t use your phone or computer at all if possible – unplug
  • Bring the bible and another spiritual book to read
  • Get extra sleep
  • Take a long walk
  • Pray a lot

You are in my daily prayers.

May God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


FEBRUARY 3, 2019 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Published by:

FEBRUARY 3, 2019

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Day for Consecrated Life


“Amen I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”

New Rectory Chapel

I’m so delighted to announce that the chapel in the rectory has been completed!  Shortly after I arrived at IC, we began construction in one of the spare bedrooms of the parish house to turn it into a chapel.  The project is now complete, and the result is wonderful.

As many of you know, when the nuns lived in the parish house there was a chapel in the room that is now our Lourdes meeting room.  And since that space is now an important part of the parish office, I decided to put in a new chapel using a different room in the house.

So many people helped work on the chapel.  In particular I want to thank:

  • Jake Tupy – heading up construction projects
  • Jake Simones for construction, painting, and staining assistance
  • My dad for help with drywall mudding
  • Paul Simon for donating the wood for the altar from trees he had personally milled
  • Dave Stepka for constructing the altar and re-finishing the cabinet

If I missed anyone, I apologize.  So many people helped over this past year that it’s hard to remember.

It is a great privilege to have the Blessed Sacrament in the rectory, where I pray daily.  Receiving permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a chapel like this actually requires asking permission from the Archbishop, which I received.

My daily prayer time with Jesus in the Eucharist is the core of my life.  Know of my constant prayers for you.  And thank you for your prayers for me.

May God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


JANUARY 27th, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Published by:

JANUARY 27th, 2019

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


“Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Catholic Schools


The purpose of our Catholic School is to form saints and citizens in partnership with families.

Saints: Individuals who know and love Jesus and his Church.  Our goal in life is to get to heaven.  But we don’t get to heaven by accident, nor by just being a “good person”.  We get to heaven by God’s grace living in us and sanctifying us, in other words, by being a saint.

Good Citizens: Individuals who have virtue, can think critically, and seek truth.  Modern education is rare that teaches the young morality and virtue.  However, without these, we have nothing to guide us and lead us in the right direction; rather, we are directed simply by our own passions and desires, and strive solely for what we think we want, rather than what God wants and what is best for the good of all society.  The development of virtue and critical thinking that teaches us how to seek the truth and find it is essential to being a good citizen.

In Partnership with Families: Education of children is essentially a partnership between the Church and the parents of the child.  Neither one nor the other alone can fulfill this responsibility.  The Church has always taught that “Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators”.  In addition, “in a special way, the duty of educating belongs to the Church, …[especially by] communicating the life of Christ to those who believe”.

This partnership between the parents and the Church is essential if the faith will be taught and strongly take root in the child’s life.

I believe Catholic Education is the best option for most families who truly want to pass on the faith to their children, because the Catholic School tirelessly works in partnership with the parents, re-enforcing the faith and the virtues that parents seek to teach.

Why I love Holy Cross:

  • Weekly Mass (in school)
  • Daily prayer (in school)
  • Learn about Jesus (in school)
  • Incorporate a Catholic worldview into every area of study, and teach our students how to integrate their faith into their daily lives, not separate them.

For these reasons, in addition to an excellent education in all subject matters, I personally encourage all parishioners of Immaculate Conception to consider sending your children to our wonderful school: Holy Cross.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


JANUARY 20th, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Published by:

JANUARY 20th, 2019

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Everyone serves the good wine first…but you have kept the good wine until now.”

Why I Left Planned Parenthood

I decided to add a bonus Lighthouse CD this month because of its relevance to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal throughout the entire United States.  This week’s CD is Why I Left Planned Parenthood by Abby Johnson.

Abby Johnson used to run a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas until she experienced a dramatic conversion on the understanding of human life in the womb.  She shares an insider’s perspective about the true motivations of the abortion industry, and her courageous journey away from it and towards life.

In this CD, Abby gives her personal testimony and also gives many helpful thoughts about why it is so important to be pro-life.  Her story is a testament to God’s grace and mercy, and the joy that comes from being an advocate for life.

If it would be easier for you to listen to this (or any other Lighthouse CD talk) as an MP3, rather than on CD, please talk to me.

There is also a new movie being made about Abby Johnson’s story, called Unplanned, which will be released in March of this year.  As it turns out, there is a very powerful story connected with the lead actress in the movie, Ashley Bratcher.

Ashley got the part to play Abby in the movie, and it wasn’t until she was on the set getting ready to film the movie when she talked to her mom about having the role.  Suddenly her mom began to cry and explained to Ashley that she herself was in an abortion clinic preparing to abort her (Ashley), when she decided she couldn’t go through with it.  And so, the actor playing Abby Johnson in this movie is herself only alive today because her mom left the abortion clinic and didn’t abort her.

(You can watch Ashley explain this powerful moment between she and her mom in an interview she did on Fox News.  Just do an online search for “Ashley Bratcher Fox interview”, and the video should pop up.)

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


Bingo January 27, 2019

Published by:

Please join us for our annual Parish Family Bingo on Sunday, January 27! Bring the whole family for a Sunday afternoon of fun, food and prizes. Invite your family and neighbors – everyone is welcome!

Bingo will be held in the Crusader Civic Center.

Lunch is available for purchase starting at 11am.

Bingo games start at 12:00pm. Play bingo all afternoon for a cover charge of $3.00. Extra cards are available for $0.50 each.

Sponsored by the IC-CCW.

Please enjoy the pictures below, taken from last year’s Bingo (2018):

January 6th, 2019 – The Epiphany of the Lord

Published by:

JANUARY 6th, 2019

The Epiphany of the Lord

“They opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”


Blessings of Technology

Last weekend I wrote about the blessing of a home.  This weekend I’d like to focus again on blessings, and this time talk about blessing technology.

Technology is amazing in what it can do and how quickly it keeps advancing.  And with access to the internet, these devices help us find information quickly and stay connected with family and friends.  However, phones, tablets, and computers can also be used in ways that are gravely immoral by accessing pictures and videos that become occasions of “adultery of the heart”, as Jesus explained in Matthew 5:27-28.

I will be the first to say that technology is wonderful and a great benefit.  So, we do not need to reject technology, but we do need to take great care that it is used in a way that does not offend God, but rather glorifies Him.

For this reason, next weekend (January 12th & 13th), I will be offering a special blessing on all electronic devices.  I invite you to bring your phones, tablets, laptops, Kindles, iPods, etc., to Mass next weekend for a special technology blessing.  We will bless them as a way of dedicating them to God’s service and glory, and a reminder to have moral uprightness whenever we use these devices.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke





DECEMBER 23, 2018 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Published by:

DECEMBER 23, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled”

Blessing of the Christmas Tree and Nativity Scene

Christmas trees are a lovely tradition and have great symbolism.  The evergreen tree is a symbol of life, since it keeps its green color year-round (even through Minnesota winters!).  The Christmas lights remind us of Christ, the light of the world.  Christmas trees used to be decorated with apples, in addition to other ornaments, to remind us of the original sin of Adam and Eve, and of the redemption of Christ which frees us from sin.  Christmas is an important time to remember our redemption, for it was out of God’s desire to redeem us that He sent his son Jesus to be born for us at Christmas.

I encourage you to keep your Christmas tree up for at least the 12 days of Christmas (through the feast of Epiphany), or even until February 2nd (the feast of the Presentation of the Lord) which is 40 days after Christmas and concludes the Christmas season.

The nativity scene is another wonderful thing to display for the Christmas season.  The nativity scene was made popular by St. Francis of Assisi and is an excellent visible reminder to us of the humble birth of our Savior.

Here are some blessings you can use in your own home to ask for God’s blessing upon your Christmas tree and nativity scene.

Christmas Tree Blessing

Leader: My brothers and sisters, amidst signs and wonders Christ Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea: his birth brings joy to our hearts and enlightenment to our minds.  With this tree, decorated and adorned, may we welcome Christ among us; may its lights guide us to the perfect light.

Read: Titus 3:4-7

Leader: Let us ask God to send his blessing upon us and upon this sign of our faith in the Lord.

R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.

L: That this tree of lights may remind us of the tree of glory on which Christ accomplished our salvation; let us pray to the Lord.  R/.

L: That the joy of Christmas may always be in our homes, let us pray to the Lord.  R/.

L: That the peace of Christ may dwell in our hearts and in the world, let us pray to the Lord.  R/.

Leader: Lord our God, we praise you for the light of creation: the sun, the moon, and the stars of the night.  We praise you for the light of Israel: the Law, the prophets, and the wisdom of the Scriptures.  We praise you for Jesus Christ, your Son: he is Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace, who fills us with the wonder of your love.  Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we illumine this tree.  May the light and cheer it gives be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.  May all who delight in this tree come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.


Nativity Scene Blessing

Read: Isaiah 7:10-15 and Luke 2:1-8

Leader: God of every nation and people, from the very beginning of creation you have made manifest your love: when our need for a Savior was great you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.  To our lives he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy, and love.  Lord, bless all who look upon this manger; may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus, and raise our thoughts to him, who is God-with-us and Savior of all, and who lives and reigns forever and ever.  R/. Amen.


I wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas.  May Jesus Christ, who is the reason for the season, fill your hearts with great hope and joy this wonderful time of year!

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke


DECEMBER 9, 2018 – Second Sunday of Advent

Published by:

DECEMBER 9, 2018

Second Sunday of Advent

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”

Immaculate Conception Novena

(Pray the following prayers for 9 days in a row)

O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate. O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.

I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.

Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…  (Mention your intentions)

My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.

As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!

Hail Mary…


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

DECEMBER 2, 2018 – First Sunday of Advent

Published by:

DECEMBER 2, 2018

First Sunday of Advent

 “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”


The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality

This month’s Lighthouse CD is The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality by Matthew Kelly.

This is a very inspiring talk about the basics of living the Catholic faith.  In this CD, Matthew explains seven of the “pillars” of our faith, and why they are so important.  This talk will help re-energize your spiritual life, and help you learn practical ways to incorporate the seven pillars into your everyday life.

If it would be easier for you to listen to this (or any other Lighthouse CD talk) as an MP3, rather than on CD, please talk to me.


Other Advent thoughts…

Confessions will be available on the four Sundays of Advent between the 8am and 10am Masses (so approximately 9:10 – 9:50am).  I wanted to make it easy for people to be able to stay after Mass or come early to Mass and go to confession during this wonderful season of preparing for the coming of Christ.

We are also adding a few weekday evening Masses during Advent.  I encourage you to come as a family after work and school.  The dates of our evening Masses are:

Tuesday, December 4th – 6pm

Tuesday, December 11th – 6pm

Thursday, December 20th – 6pm

If you do not yet have an Advent calendar, I encourage you to grab one from the back of church.  These calendars have one short scripture verse for each day leading up to Christmas.  I especially encourage using these if you still have children at home.

Advent wreaths are another wonderful way to celebrate this season.  Lighting one candle each week leading up to Christmas helps us grow in anticipation for the coming of Christ, the Light of the World.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke